United States Diplomacy Center

George C. Marshall Conference at the U.S. Department of State

 

2009 GEORGE C. MARSHALL CONFERENCE: THE CITIZEN AS DIPLOMAT
February 26 and 27, 2009

Conference sponsored by the United States Diplomacy Center,
Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State and
The George C. Marshall Foundation
at the
U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C.

                              Date: 02/27/2009 Location: State Department Conference Center Description: A panel, including an exchange student and host mother, discusses exchange programs in a Marshall Conference workshop. State Dept Photo  Description: Marshall Conference attendees State Dept Photo

  


As part of the Diplomacy Center's mission to promote greater understanding of diplomacy and inspire future leaders, we invited students and teachers to join with distinguished scholars and practicing diplomats to discuss how the Marshall Plan involved citizens to help rebuild Europe after World War II, and what impact this has had on diplomacy today.

The conference introduced participants to practicing diplomats, and discussed ways to become involved in citizen-diplomacy. Students especially came away with a greater appreciation for the work of diplomats, how this has changed since the Marshall Plan, and how they can become involved in diplomacy.


Location, Date and Time

U.S. Department of State
Harry S Truman Building
George C. Marshall Conference Center
2201 C Street, N.W
Washington, DC

Thursday, February 26, 2009
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Friday, February 27, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

 


The Marshall Plan invited citizens, business leaders, journalists, academics, engineers, medical directors and teachers to help rebuild Europe after World War II. U.S. citizens stepped into the role of “diplomat” through aid and exchange programs from 1947-1951, and were crucial implementers of the economic, educational, technological and governmental programs of the European Recovery Program, otherwise known as the Marshall Plan.

The legacy of the Marshall Plan lives on through numerous exchange programs and international cooperatives that promote citizen involvement in diplomacy. These have expanded the role of diplomat beyond the Department of State, Foreign Service and federal agencies. In today’s global environment, the role of citizen as diplomat is crucial in maintaining positive and productive relationships among nations. Through the programs of non-governmental organizations, personal travel, business development and opportunities, citizens informally represent their nations to others, building relationships and forming lasting impressions.

Can we prepare ourselves to carry on this role as citizen diplomat? How have Marshall Plan programs taught citizens to engage in global issues and meet the challenges of today?

The 2009 George C. Marshall Conference: The Citizen as Diplomat presented by the United States Diplomacy Center explored how the Plan paved the way for the increased role of the citizen diplomat, and how this role impacts the work of the State Department.

 

Bibliographical Note


 Agenda

Day One

Thursday, February 26, 2009


12:30 p.m.: Registration
Check-in at the Department of State, HarrySTrumanBuilding,
21st Street entrance

1:00 p.m.: Conference opening in the George C. Marshall Conference

Center Auditorium

Welcome: Stephen Estrada, Director, U.S. Diplomacy Center, Department of State

1:15 p.m.: Keynote address: Opportunities for Citizen Diplomacy Today
Ambassador John K. Menzies, Ph.D.
Dean of Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Affairs,
Seton Hall University

 

2:30 p.m.: Historical perspective:  The Citizen Diplomat and the Marshall Plan
Jacqueline McGlade, Ph.D.
Dean of Graduate Programs, College of Saint Elizabeth

3:15 p.m.: Break

3:30 p.m.: Panel discussion: The Work of Citizen Diplomats Today

Moderator:
Cynthia P. Schneider, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University

Panelists
Aja Bonsu, Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Team Desk Officer, Department of State
William M. Eichbaum, Vice President and Managing Director for Marine Portfolio, WWF
Jeremy Konyndyk, Senior Policy Advisor, Mercy Corps
Thomas A. W. Miller, Vice President, Business for Diplomatic Action

5:00 p.m.: Conference recesses

5:15 p.m.: Reception –The George C. Marshall Conference Center

 

  

 Day Two 

Friday, February 27, 2009


8:00 a.m.: Registration
Check-in at the Department of State, Harry S Truman Building,
21st Street entrance

8:45 a.m.: Welcome: Stephen Estrada, Director, U.S. Diplomacy Center, Department of State

Daniel Stewart, Foreign Service Officer/Recruiter, Department of State

9:00 a.m.: Workshops
Sessions include a seasoned diplomatic practitioner from a federal agency, non-governmental organization or an international organization and an historian. This is a unique opportunity for students and participants to interact with scholars and leaders in the field, to ask questions, share ideas and help advance a better understanding of diplomacy.

The six workshops will be run three times; each conference attendee will participate in three workshops.

Workshops include:

Citizen Diplomats Respond
The first goal of the Marshall Plan was to relieve the humanitarian crisis and stabilize Europe after World War II. Distributing food and medicine was a major concern, and logistical support was critical. In emergency situations or rebuilding efforts today, federal agencies and international, non-governmental and volunteer organizations must work together to improve living, health and safety conditions. How do these organizations manage logistical support? Can citizen-based organizations help stabilize a country and achieve larger U.S. policy goals?

Facilitator: Dr. Jerry M. Pops, Division of Public Administration, West Virginia University and George C. Marshall Foundation Scholar

 

Thomas Gittins, President, Gittins and Associates, Inc., Washington rep for U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy and former CEO of Sister Cities International

Mark Granius, Senior Director for Middle East Programs, Relief International
Robert Jenkins, Acting Director, Office of Transition Initiatives, United States Agency for International Development

The Power of the Purse and the Citizen Diplomat
The Marshall Plan helped rebuild Europe’s economy by promoting trade among European countries and with the United States. Today, more and more products are traded internationally and there are numerous complicated trade agreements. With a growing global economy, citizens are concerned with sustaining local economies, protecting the environment and building “green” businesses. What do citizens need to know to be informed consumers? How do individual purchase choices impact the globe and how are citizen-based organizations able to contribute to responsible business development and sustainability?

Facilitator: Peter Kraemer, Historian, Department of State

Richard Huff, Deputy Director, Office of Economic Policy Analysis and Public Diplomacy, Department of State
Thomas A. W. Miller, Vice President, Business for Diplomatic Action

Beyond Culture Shock: Participating in Today’s Global Community
The Marshall Plan promoted exchange opportunities for citizens in hopes of building lasting relationships between Europeans and Americans. Today, interacting with those from another culture is a common occurrence through travel, school and the internet. Whether we realize it or not, our actions reflect ourselves and the country we are from. What skills should we possess to mindfully interact with other cultures? How do personal assumptions of another culture affect one’s ability to build bridges? How can cross-cultural understanding help us succeed in the global community of the future?

Facilitator: Neil Sumilas, Director of Alumni Networks, German Marshall Fund of the United States

Cindy Dyballa, AFS Host Parent and Liaison

Dina Mahmod, Youth Exchange and Study Program and AFS student

Building a Virtual Bridge: How to be a Diplomat in Cyber World
Unlike the Marshall Plan era, the internet allows us to “travel” without leaving our computers. Social networking sights on the internet are a popular way to connect with others around the world and “exchange” ideas” but can the virtual world influence diplomacy and the way nations are understood? This session will discuss how the internet can be a tool of diplomacy, invite citizen participation and constructively motivate citizens.

Facilitator: Luke Forgerson, Managing Editor, DipNote, Digital Communications Center, Bureau of Public Affairs, Department of State

Dr. Steven L. Livingston, Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs, George Washington University
Sean Redding, Communications Coordinator, STAND: Student Anti-Genocide Coalition
Robert L. Woolard, General Manager ePals International & Vice President Corporate Development

 

Simulations

Participants will be exposed to the rigors of diplomacy faced by Marshall Era planners and by diplomats in crisis situations today. Workshop attendees will be placed in a diplomatic situation and given a “role” to play in the negotiations, learning to meet their goals by compromising with those who embrace different points-of-view.

Two Simulation workshops include:

The Marshall Plan and the Citizen Diplomat Influence
Participants will learn how the American public influenced the passage of the European Recovery Plan in the U.S. Congress by role playing the different perspectives.

Facilitator: Robert B. James, Director of Programs, George C. Marshall Foundation

 

Crisis in Darfur: Negotiating a Solution

Participants will take on roles of diplomats attempting to end the genocide in Darfur.

Facilitator: L. J. Krizner, Education Program Specialist, The U.S. Diplomacy Center, Department of State

10:00 a.m.: Break

10:15 a.m.: Repeat of workshop sessions

11:15 a.m.: Break

11:30 a.m.: Repeat of workshop sessions

 12:30 p.m.: Conference adjourns--turn in evaluations before departing

Information materials on careers at the Department of State as well as representatives from Peace Corps and Youth Service America will be available in the Business Center during registration and break periods. Please stop by to learn more about ways you can be involved in the work of diplomacy.

Questions? Contact LJ Krizner at 202-736-9044 or marshallconference@state.gov
 

Biographies of 2009 conference speakers, facilitators and panelists

Past Marshall Conference agendas


 Marshall Conference photos from past events: 

Date: 02/26/2009 Location: State Department Conference Center Description: Ambassador John K. Menzies gives the keynote address at the George C. Marshall Conference at the US Department of State. State Dept PhotoDate: 11/01/2007 Location: Department of State Marshall Conference Center Description: 2007 Marshall Plan Conference, USDC State Dept Photo

 Date: 11/01/2007 Location: Department of State Marshall Conference Center Description: 2007 Marshall Plan Conference, USDC State Dept PhotoDate: 11/01/2007 Location: Department of State Marshall Conference Center Description: 2007 Marshall Plan Conference, USDC State Dept Photo

 







Date: 12/10/2008 Description: Marshall Conference 2007 State Dept PhotoDate: 11/01/2007 Location: Department of State Marshall Conference Center Description: 2007 Marshall Plan Conference, USDC State Dept Photo
 

Photo 01